Why I gave up my retirement savings goal to save for maternity

  • By early 2021, I planned to save $ 25,000 per year for retirement.
  • It changed when I had a miscarriage. I realized that I wanted to prioritize motherhood as a financial goal.
  • Now I am ambitiously saving for adoption or any other medical needs I may have as I try to become a mom.
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I’m the type of person who struggles to save without a specific goal to keep me on track. I spent over a decade paying off $ 80,000 in debt, and I was able to do so in part because I had a clear goal in view. The closer I got to debt free, the more frugal I became and felt overjoyed when I reached my goal. So, for 2021, I set a retirement savings goal of saving $ 25,000 per year, using strategic credit card rewards bonuses to help me. But that plan was turned upside down when I set my sights on another major goal: motherhood.

In January, I ended up going to the emergency room to treat a miscarriage for a pregnancy I didn’t even know I was wearing. I had to pay a little over $ 1000 for my emergency room visit and I was thankful that the cost was not several times higher.

Paying out that money seemed to add insult to injury, but it made me realize that my desire to be a mom outweighs my desire to save for retirement. If pursuing adoption means spending tens of thousands of dollars, I’m ready to do it. If I could afford it, I would look into surrogacy as well, but the cost is too high and I don’t think I would do well with my unborn child by going into debt to bring it into the world.

I focus on saving to become a mom

Going through such a traumatic event made me rethink my money priorities. After all, I only have a limited amount of time before I can get pregnant or adopt, so I can still contribute to my retirement savings, or decide to retire later.

This year I contributed the maximum of $ 6,000 to my IRA and added $ 10,000 to my brokerage account, which I am grateful to have had the money to do; this is more than double what I have ever contributed before. But I am fully prepared to use what is in my brokerage account for any costs associated with parenting.

Now when I see my account totals go up on a good market day, I don’t think about how I’ll be using that money 20 or 30 years from now, but how many diapers and other baby supplies I have. he will buy. It has been a good motivation for me to be more proactive in finding additional work, staying within my budget and learning about the real costs of raising a child.

I don’t mind putting my ambitious retirement savings goal on hold

Reorienting my mind around money and recognizing that my nest egg may have to drop to fulfill my life’s dream has helped me make peace with it. Rather than seeing future spending of money as a loss, I see it as an investment in the family I want to build.

Right now there is a lot of expectation, research, hope and dreaming. I’m on track to meet and exceed that $ 25,000 savings goal, only now I see it as my baby fund rather than my retirement savings. It makes me upbeat and positive, as does weighing every major financial decision against what it will mean for my finances if I become a mom, especially if I have to take unpaid time off.

I would rather find other ways to cut expenses, such as not traveling this summer to visit my family as I normally would, rather than feeling like I’m further delaying my journey to motherhood because of the ‘silver. I have also allowed myself to accept the fact that everything should be fine if my future finances suffer, whether temporarily or permanently, when I have to make large payments that bring me one step closer to being a mom (like the adoption or labor and delivery costs). They will be more than worth it. With this in mind, giving up traveling to save does not sound like a sacrifice, but a gift for myself.

As long as I’m contributing something to my IRA, with the intention of increasing my retirement savings when I can, and being as mindful of my spending as possible, I feel good about my choices. Even though I am backing down in one area of ​​my life, I am moving forward in an area that means everything to me. My new goal doesn’t come with a dollar number, but it’s one that I pursue with the same focus and attention as when I got out of debt. I hope to be as successful.


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